In an age of endless entertainment options, finding a family vacation spot that will keep everyone engaged can be tough.
America’s National Parks might be the answer you’re looking for, with incredible natural sights not seen anywhere else on the planet, activities far beyond hiking, and interactive park programs just for kids. Five parks in particular are great for families looking to explore together and will keep the whole family saying “wow.”
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Planning a visit to the Grand Canyon is easier than others because of the number and variety of lodging and dining options in the area. The immense views will captivate people of all ages and many are very accessible. There are hiking and biking trails that younger kids can handle, an IMAX theater, and a junior ranger program.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Kids will not be bored in Everglades National Park with its completely unique activities, like ranger-guided airboat rides. This waterfront sanctuary makes for awesome wildlife spotting, including alligators and hundreds of species of birds. You’ll find walks easy enough to bring toddlers along, as well as junior ranger programs.
Arches National Park, Utah
The giant stone arches of Arches National Park are something every outdoor enthusiast needs to see at least once. The best part is that many of the most impressive arches are an easy walk from parking areas, making it possible for nearly everyone to enjoy the views together. After a day in the desert, enjoy swimming or rafting on the Colorado River.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
With its otherworldly geothermal features — like hot springs, mud pots, and geysers — Yellowstone is a place where kids can see things they’ve never imagined. They can explore the park as a junior ranger or young scientist; watch grazing bison, hunting wolves, and foraging bears; or stay up to see the stars come out.
Olympic National Park, Washington
In Olympic National Park, kids can explore tidepools on the beach, filled with anemones and starfish, or mountain valleys full of wildflowers or a deep, dense green rainforest that looks unlike any other national park. Teens might be interested to know that the forest and a nearby town inspired the setting of the Twilight book series.
With all there is to do in these National Parks, no one in the family should have a chance to say they’re bored or feel left out. So go ahead and get planning, but be prepared to answer the age old question, “Are we there yet?”